As summer rolls on Lorel and I have been thinking a lot about the women in our families and their lives. We’ve had several discussions and some of that will be posted here on the blog. To get that conversation rolling, we’d like to know what you think about the term “HOUSEWIFE” as so many women were and are referred to in census and other records. Their job is “housewife.” But what does and did that really mean?
Looking both in today’s society and the time of our ancestors, think about these questions:
- Does the term housewife mean women have less value than men?
- What does that term entail? Cleaning the house? Cooking, laundry, caring for the children and husband?
- Does it mean she had no other skills?
- Have you considered that maybe she had a small job outside the home but was referred to as a housewife when the census taker came around? Or that job was overlooked when an occupation was requested on a death certificate?
What does the term housewife mean to you if you are a woman today? How do you think being a housewife today compares to the role your grandmother or great grandmother played as a housewife?
Please share with us in the comments.
© 2013, Sort Your Story, Sonoma, California
Written by Lorel Kapke, Sort Your Story Founder
When dad was sharing his WWII experience I realized he was about to engage in a war with Germany, spring of 1943. His direct ancestors (Kapke) left Pomerania, Kriess Kammin and arrived in this country fall of 1843. When and where after emigration did the break of his “German ancestry connection” occur?
After creating the Kapke timeline card and writing a brief synopsis of his line (father, grandfather, GG and GGG emigrant grandfather), it appeared to me, the one who left the farm and moved to a town nearby to work in a trade, may have altered the farm family “tight community?” This was in 1878. However, I understand after WWI (1918) this war left the “German community” in Wisconsin in a shambles and after WWII, the damages brought to the German community was the ending of a tight community (per family stories and copious amounts of written data.)However, my father born in 1923 did speak German for a few years. His older brothers born 1914, 1917 and 1919 did speak German.
To explore the past is to understand the present. How can we collaborate with family members and bring up touchy subjects and open communication without offering opinions? How do we avoid upsetting family members when we talk about subjects such as ethnic communities and discrimination?
Can this be accomplished?
© 2013 Sort Your Story, Sonoma, California